Start the year on top
  |  First Published: December 2013

Although January holds plenty of options for the keen angler, it is the opportunity to do some surface fishing which I find as a significant draw card.

Having fish take a cast lure off the surface is an exciting angling pursuit and there is a few ways to get this fix locally at this time of year.

Chasing down kingfish schools and casting lures at them is my favourite at this time of year. The frustration long days of waiting for the right conditions is soon forgotten and it all comes together when a big long yellow-tailed behemoth slams your lure.

Last season the Killarney/ Basin areas produced only the odd kingfish, north shore was as quiet as it’s ever been for them, however several areas off Port Fairy produced the goods last season.

What will happen this January is anyone’s guess.

Although usually thought of as a cooler month species, schools of good-sized salmon can also be sighted on the surface at this time of year and produce some good sport on cast lures.

If conditions don’t allow for sea surface fun then plenty of top water action can be found in the local estuaries. Although most still resemble a winter scenario, due to the wet and cold spring, hopefully some warmer weather and clear water will see both bream and perch smashing surface presentations on clam mornings and evenings. Even if the wind is up a bit there is usually a calm bend where a surface plastic or hardbody can be blooped along.

For holiday anglers not into lure casting, there are usually plenty of opportunities to catch bream, mullet and salmon near the mouths of any of the local estuaries on bait. Using a little berley, keeping the line and sinker weights down and using fresh bait can produce almost non-stop action for families trying to keep youngsters entertained over the holiday period. For those with the capability, apply the same principles just slightly offshore as there are usually plenty of pinky snapper around to keep rods bending frequently.

With the aforementioned wet spring, trout should still be taken over the summer. Bait fishing the deeper holes with shrimp or mudeyes or flicking naturally toned soft plastic stick baits is the best option.

Redfin are also a popular summer target. Lakes Gillear, Aringa and Ellingamite would be the best local options to try and secure some sweet tasting redfin if those sea breezes make it too hard to get offshore.

January is kingfish time, let’s hope the weather gods cooperate!

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